Cataviņa,La Mysteriosa-Baja Beauty Kevin Worrall Climbing 95

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 80 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 26, 2010 - 02:25pm PT
Kevin mentioned this excellent article recently on another Baja thread but it deserves its own. From Climbing August-September 1995.























Sure looks like some big, warm fun while the rain falls up here in Drizzletown!
go-B

climber
Revelation 7:12
Dec 26, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#183593
From a 4X4 road trip to Baja, we passed by Cataviņa in the late 1970's early 1980's, I called it, "Baja 500", FA?

We went to Bahia Tortugas and San Marcos, Scuba diving as well, never made it to Cabo like we planned, but had quite the trip!


Edit; The middle photo, there is a piece of loose flake on my lap that I pulled out of the crack on lead, I forgot about that!
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Dec 26, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
I have been to Catavina. Passed through several times over a span of many decades.

And for the life of me I can't think of where all that nice looking rock comes from. I remember a first/top surface that was like sand. Joshua Tree without all the climbers.

Is this somewhere near the dip in the road, where it crosses the wet spot, where all the truck drivers take a sh#t and leave their toilet paper? A stripped truck half buried nearby from a obviously fatal accident? There were roads that take off from there, did one of them lead to that huge stone?




The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 26, 2010 - 04:43pm PT
Did you get your handle from that crack climb, gobee? Catavina cracks are pretty darn gritty. But there are some good ones hiding in those boulder piles.

Haven't seen this in a while - thanks for dredging another old story up, Steve!

The opening spread photo of Sean Myles (which is broken into two photos) was on the first roll I shot with a 20 mm which I was testing to possibly buy. I paid for the lens (and more) with that one photo! If that happened more often, I'd probably still be shooting climbing photos.

The Crystal Mountain Arete is an amazing miniature classic, lost in the far reaches of the boulderfield. I had maybe ten different photos of that ultra obscure route published due to its uniqueness, and dramatic position.


Probably real nice down there about now if it's gotten some of the early rain we have in San Diego. It's warmer than Josh, no rangers for hundreds of miles, and right up there with Josh for aesthetics.

You might actually wish there were rangers down there if things went wrong...

EDIT: just read your post Roxjox - all the climbing I've done is a mile or two north of the "wet spot" in the dip. Now there's a well marked cave painting pullout there. You have to know where to go to get the goods, or you've gotta wander for miles to find it in the maze of rock. Most all the best stuff is nearly drive up, actually, by following faint dirt roads which wander around the boulderfield.

The Corridor Arete in the opening photo is only 200 yds from the hwy. You can see it from your car as you drive on the NE side of the road. Right next to it is a route called Caught Inside which climbs the face out of The Corridor. Very sustained, slightly less than vertical, solid 5.12. Really good, and damn hard!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 26, 2010 - 04:57pm PT
You have photos to go with all these tasty route names, right?!?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:04pm PT
I shot a lot of photos in the course of doing the story, Steve.

All on film, and I have no scanner.



Sean Myles wrote a story in some British mag about his trip down there, and used photos which Climbing didn't. He was quite taken with the place, and the whole experience.

He found an amazingly perfect arrowhead on one of our hikes...

The place must have been covered with Native Americans at some point in history. It's a central point in an obvious cross-peninsula travel route.

Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:08pm PT
In a place that is water scarce, it has (almost?) year round water. So it was likely a stop for anybody who lived in the area, perhaps in wetter times.



I drove a little on the eastern side of the road. Not to the west. My screwup...


I was always heading somewhere else, with the destination on my mind. Usually fishing or diving. It pays to keep an open schedule.


go-B

climber
Revelation 7:12
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:11pm PT
Cool photos Kev, and killer looking routes!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:13pm PT
Yes, year round water in Catavina, always at a spring just upstream from the other arroyo crossing just south of town.

And about ten miles west, there is a major spring and archaeological site in a drainage which snakes down to the Pacific at Puerto Mujeres. As you near the coast, the Arroyo floor is nearly solid midden for miles.

Some pretty special point breaks down that way...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 26, 2010 - 05:16pm PT
Get a scanner fella! They are cheap for something that allows you to save and share your memories! You have a deep slidebox and the clock is ticking on the really old shots. It becomes automatic once you tweak the results a bit!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:33pm PT
Rox -

It IS the (N)east side. I mistakenly wrote NW.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:48pm PT
That makes more sense, I suppose. The rocks to the east are obvious.

That is one of the prettiest parts of the entire road south, and is about the only place actually ON the road that has the potential for being pretty. For ten or so miles, its actually nice and vegetated, although with desert vegetation. The old phone/telegraph line is fun to watch. All made up of twisted poles. Is that where the Boojum trees grow? Impossible cone shaped trees with almost no leaves or branches?



Now if you could just stop the truckers from messing there.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 26, 2010 - 05:53pm PT
The first boojums appear just south of El Rosario, and pretty much cover the peninsula to about 4,000 ft in elevation from there down. Except right along the coast.

There are loads of 40 - 50 footers around Catavina.

And the truckers don't stray far from the pavement.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Dec 27, 2010 - 08:09am PT
I dreamed last night of Catavina, and the fish restaurant in Guererro Negro.


This is a cool thread to create that dream.


TFPU.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Dec 27, 2010 - 08:42am PT
I remember this article. Very nice! Thanks for the post, Steve, and for the killer story and pics, Kevin.

The one shot of the Crystal Mountain Arete is beautiful, and that belay is heck-a-dynamic!
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Dec 27, 2010 - 08:46am PT
Kevin, isn't this also the place you found out about the aerodynamic characteristics of a levi jacket while wearing it? A funny story with a not so funny outcome if I remember right?
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Dec 27, 2010 - 09:13am PT
Thx for posting this.......

I will add to the "endless road trip guide" I am making for my retirement.

living is cheap in baja.

drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Dec 27, 2010 - 10:27am PT
There's some buried treasure down there....

Kinda hard to get frothing surfers to stop there if gas isn't needed.
Punta Pequena or bust!
Best part of the (hwy) drive.

Thanks KW and SG!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 27, 2010 - 10:47am PT
Yes Pat, you have the gist of it.

The actual location was about 30 miles south, just north of the Bahia de Los Angeles road, near Rancho El Desengano. The jacket's label was Carhartt rather than Levi.

Strangely, a few minutes before I was launched into the air by an incredibly powerful wind gust, I had discovered the single most impressive cave painting I have seen in Baja Norte. Amazingly well preserved, and beautifully composed. And this was right at the winter solstice. I was tossed about 15 ft through the air after opening up my jacket, and broke my calcaneus on impact.

The fictional story I wrote to open the Catavina article is about an Indian brave named Viento (wind en espanol), and his actual return to our Catavina camp to check us out in the form of a rogue wind gust. On the winter solstice. I wrote the story 2 years before breaking my heel.

To top it off "el desengano" means the mishap!

You have to read the story to appreciate how unusual the circumstances are...


Edit: probably just a big coincidence...

all in jim

climber
Dec 27, 2010 - 12:18pm PT
That shot of the Crystal Mountain Arete is so cool! It has everything... the warm winter sun, a cool looking line, a great belay / sundeck, and a beautiful woman's butt (look at the rock behind the arete!)

Kevin, you should get a scanner if only to scan your incredible shot of Thomas Huber on the Salathe headwall, one of the best of all time.
Messages 1 - 20 of total 80 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews